An intake air filter is a device meant for the removal of dust, dirt, water, and other particles from the air in a vehicle's intake system. Also, it is vital for ensuring a good air-fuel mixture (free from particulate matter (PM)) leading to improved combustion efficiency (good combustion ultimately improve the vehicle emissions i.e., free from PM. The same PM are responsible for vulnerable smog condition in Punjab, Pakistan). On the other hand, it safeguards the life of the inlet manifold of the internal combustion (IC) engine.
Intake air filters (hereafter called ‘filter’) are available in a variety of styles. The most common is a paper or nonwoven fabric-based filter – configured in a metal or plastic case. It is learned that the present generation of filters was designed when the air was relatively less polluted. However, ambient air quality, according to the World Bank, in all major cities of Pakistan remains heavily laden with particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) throughout the year. Especially in the winter season, the situation becomes more worst. This state of polluted air endangers not only human health but also casts a negative impact on the transport sector. Interestingly, where vehicular emissions are a significant source of air pollution, at the same time, it is a sufferer of air pollution due to intake of polluted air. Meta-analysis suggested that continuous intake of polluted air distorts the air-fuel mix ratio, and in turn, it affects the engine’s combustion efficiency. In a nutshell, poor air filtration impacts the fuel economy and the mechanical life of an engine.
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (2019), Pakistan spends Rs. 1140 million annually for the import of intake air filters for the automobile industry. In order to produce an air filter meeting the contemporary state of air quality and indigenously enable Pakistan in making local air filters, we propose to develop an innovative nanofiber-based filter paper that would have a high flux rate, high filtration efficiency, and high permeability without substantially modifying the filter cost.
The demand for such kind of product is higher in the countries where the air quality is not so good. Pakistan is an example, where the dust concentration in the air is particularly high and often exceeds 1 g/m3. Therefore, there is a higher need to introduce technologically advanced air filters for internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles.
The idea is to improve the filtration efficiency of the air filters by introducing nanofiber-based filter paper into the product already developed by the Eastern Injection Molding Company, Lahore. Fabrication and research trials will be carried out at the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST), Haripur.